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Luis Shaikh
Luis Shaikh

How To Buy Land In Costa Rica 'LINK'

The good news is that US citizens can buy most property in Costa Rica without restriction. The main exceptions are in certain areas known as Maritime Zones, which are directly onto beachfront areas, and considered public land.

how to buy land in costa rica

Maybe Dad did make the best investment of his life and 40 years later the land is worth a fortune. Or maybe there are now squatters on it. Maybe the city foreclosed on it years ago because the property taxes were not paid. Or maybe Dad never paid the corporation taxes?

In every city in the world, old and neglected areas tend to be redeveloped eventually. Developing land at higher densities and a more efficient use of the land to generate more revenue per acre is easier to manage in the old and neglected areas of the city. Find out if the city has any plans for renovating those areas.

Many areas of Costa Rica have bad topsoil, and you will need to replace this bad soil before you build. Or maybe the actual owner used the lot to dump soil from somewhere else to make it a nice and flat-looking lot? Some even use garbage or construction waste materials and then fill, on which you cannot build. Is the lot cut from the mountain or is it all landfill? Is the soil used for the fill of good quality and is it compacted?

Find out if there is a zoning plan in the city where you want to make your land purchase and check what zoning would apply to this particular property. With a very irregular topography of the land, usually, the density is very low. A high-density property has a much higher chance of rising in value in the future than low-density property.

If you are thinking of buying land in Costa Rica for the views, make sure the view cannot be taken away by new construction or neighbors who let trees grow too high. If possible, have your attorney constitute a view easement on the neighboring properties to avoid having your view blocked.

Hire an attorney who specializes in real estate and have him/her run a complete title check before buying land in Costa Rica. Is the property fully titled or is it a concession in the maritime zone? Have the attorney also check for any liens and annotations. If it makes you feel comfortable, get title insurance.

Ask your attorney to check if the title includes any easements, which give other people certain rights regarding the property, and have him/her explain them to you. These can include water easements, power easements and right of way easements. Make sure you are not buying a property that is giving an easement to someone else that might not allow your land to be developed as you would want to.

If you purchase land in a community or in a condominium, read the bylaws and make sure they are legally registered in the National Registry before you sign a promise to purchase. Understand your rights and obligations. Introduce yourself to the condo administration and ask if there are any homeowner association fees, condo fees for raw land, water fees, maintenance fees or other duties, legal or not.

The municipality where the land is located will charge the owner once a year (payable quarterly) 0.25% of the registered value but will not notify you about it. If you own your land through a corporation, you should have paid between 2011 and 2015 but this tax was declared unconstitutional. A new corporation tax law might be approved in the future.

Ivo Henfling founded the American-European Real Estate Group back in 1999, the first functioning MLS in Costa Rica with affiliate agents from coast to coast. You can read other articles like this on his blog. Contact Ivo at (506) 2289-5125 / 8834-4515

Unlike some of the other countries, foreigners have the same rights when purchasing land in Costa Rica as locals do. You can own property outright in your own name or in the name of your corporation. You do not need a local partner, except in cases of beachfront concession property, where special rules apply. There is absolutely nothing to prevent you from purchasing property in your own name, but the majority of buyers form a corporation with the help of a reputable lawyer and then purchase property through that corporation. The reason for this is threefold. One - it may be more beneficial to have your income (from rentals) or capital gain (from sale of the property) taxed within a Costa Rican company rather than having it taxed as personal income. Of course, this depends on the tax laws of the country from which you originate. Two - it allows for simplified estate planning, whereby you can give or will shares of the corporation that owns the property to members of your family. Three - to not have personal liability for any debt than can occur and shield its owners from personal liability for accidents or bodily injury on the property.

Another plus for property purchasers in Costa Rica is its central land registry which allows your lawyer to confirm that there is clear title to your property, as well as to discern if there are any restrictions on the property before the deal goes through. Also attractive are Costa Rica's very low property taxes - 1/4 of 1% annually. That means if you buy a condominium or home with an assessed value of $200,000, the property taxes per year would be $500.

The actual nuts and bolts of purchasing are similar to those in North America. Dealing with a Costa Rica real estate company you recognize can provide additional security, since international franchises are governed by standard rules and regulations. Also, find out if your Costa Rica real estate agent lives in the community where he or she is working. Do they know the local market? Are they owners themselves? These are important questions as there are some large databases operating in the country run by individuals that don't even live in the country. Ask yourself if you want to be represented or advised by someone who is largely ignorant of your target market, and who cannot advise you of pricing, deals, lifestyle and issues peculiar to that location.

Also of importance in the process is to secure your own lawyer to represent your interests in a property purchase. Your lawyer should check the title on your property in the central registry, and can also assist with forming corporations, opening bank accounts and doing other business related to land purchase.

Once buyer and seller have come to an agreement and have signed the contract, a deposit (usually 10%) is expected. The normal time period for receipt of deposit is two weeks, but this time period may be negotiated according to the buyer's circumstances. All funds should be held in a SUGEF or government registered escrow account. It is common for buyers and sellers to use third party companies such as Stewart Title Latin America (STLA) for escrow purposes.

Most property in Costa Rica is titled. Any property that is located within 50 meters of the high tide line is public and protected. The 150 meters that are adjacent to this zone is called the Maritime Zone (ZMT). This land is a concession by the municipality and a non-citizen can own only up to 49% of the concession. Very little property within the ZMT is titled in Costa Rica. Concessions can be verified in the municipality. (Please check other legal issues mentioned in this Costa Rica real estate guide with your real estate attorney before you make a purchase.)

Since Costa Rica has so many protected areas for nature conservation, you will find setbacks from rivers and forests, which are always annotated in the National Registry. Many cities have a zoning plan which should be checked before you buy any land. The zoning will show if it is agricultural or residential and what the restrictions are. Always request a copy of the cadaster plan (survey or plot map) where you can see any restrictions. Setbacks from rivers should be requested from INVU.

This incredible 2.5-acre property boasts picturesque valley views, cool mountain air, and an ideal elevation of 2,600 feet above sea level. The fertile land is perfect for growing crops, and there are already fruit trees on the property. With electricity and ASADA water already in place, this land is ready for you to build your dream home.

This 1.5-acre property in Puerto Cortes has numerous uses, both residential and commercial. The riverside property provides a peaceful and natural setting and is easily accessible and visible to passing traffic due to its highway frontage. The land is flat and easy to develop, with electricity and city AYA water already in place, making it ready for development.

This 1.25 acre property in Costa Rica is a rare find with easy access, stunning ocean views, and multiple streams and rivers on the land. The property has electricity and water in place, as well as public road frontage, making it easily accessible and development ready for residential use.

The laid-back lifestyle and gorgeous tropical weather of Costa Rica attracts tourists and expats like a magnet. Real estate in Costa Rica is much more affordable than in most parts of North America and getting to live in paradise makes the deal even sweeter.

In Costa Rica, any property located within the first 50 meters of the high tide line is considered public land. This means it is protected and cannot be titled. The next 150 meters up from this zone is called the Maritime Zone or Concession Land.

Once you get through the process of buying land, building a house in Costa Rica can be an exciting and challenging feat. Houses in Costa Rica are designed to accommodate the unique, humid climate and promote indoor/outdoor living.

Súper helpful article! Thank you! We are interested in a home on an acre of property, some of which is in the maritime zone. We are in the process of narrowing down a vetted agent and attorney but my question at the moment is can a non-citizen purchase a home without a title due to the maritime zoning? Is a citizen partnership required to make any home purchase on maritime zone land or is the partnership specific to gaining maximum land ownership of beachfront property? Thank you for any insight you can share on this topic. 041b061a72


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